The Andhra Pradesh Government has not been sharing the district-wise breakup of the COVID-19 cases with the public over the past two weeks. It should be noted that the government was actively sharing the same with the public ever since Andhra Pradesh recorded its first few cases. However, since 19 May, the daily bulletin (released through Arogya Andhra Twitter handle) has been revealing information only about the cumulative cases, number of recoveries, and death toll. The recent development seems to be raising concerns with several citizens taking to social media and urging the authorities to share the district-wise breakup of COVID-19 cases in AP.
Speaking with Yo! Vizag, BJP MLC PVN Madhav said, “It has become a scene of unfair competition between district collectors, ministers and MLAs. When an area is reporting a spike in positive cases, it is being attributed to the respective collector, which is wrong. Therefore, based on district collectors’ request, the State Government has discontinued the practice of revealing the district-wise numbers of COVID-19 cases in AP. However, this should not be the case. Many states across the country are sharing district-wise numbers with the public. This will helping in boosting awareness among the citizens. The data will only help in alerting them when the cases in their district register a spike.”
Mr Madhav further opined that the authorities must also reveal the mandal-wise numbers within each district to increase transparency. “From the beginning, they have never released an updated medical bulletin within the districts. While the patients’ personal details shouldn’t be shared, their corresponding codes should be revealed to the public to create local awareness. Now that they haven’t been doing any of this, there are growing concerns over the transparency. We even spoke to the District Collector in this regard,” he said.
Earlier, State BJP President Kanna Lakshmi Narayana had written a letter to the Chief Minister, requesting the State Government to continue the previous model wherein the district wise tally of COVID-19 cases in the state was revealed. Calling the data “useful and helpful to people”, Mr Lakshmi Narayana stated that it would help in alerting and cautioning the people of the particular district where the cases are reported on the higher side.
Andhra Pradesh, as of Saturday morning, reported 2944 COVID-19 cases. Overall, 2902 patients have been discharged so far in the state while the death toll currently stands at 60. 792 individuals are undergoing treatment in AP.